Bernard Stamm, after informing the organisation and his team, has decided to head towards the Auckland Islands. He will shelter there in order to make some repairs on his hydrogenerators. Then, he will able to continue his journey in the South Pacific safely and serenely.
Since he crossed the Portugal coast, several weeks away from now, Bernard Stamm has serious problems with his hydro generators. Damaged, the systems that provide energy on board can no longer be efficient. Fuel reserves are dwindling day after day and the batteries do not load anymore. Therefore, the possibility of using the automatic pilot or the computer plant for communications and weather forecasts are limited and makes life on board very difficult. All the repairs made by the Cheminées Poujoulat skipper do not hold and forced him to head towards the Auckland Islands today. The Swiss will seek for a shelter to make the repairs which require stopping the boat temporary.
Indeed, it is essential to find a lasting solution to ensure sufficient energy production on board before entering the biggest ocean of the world. This is a complicated operation for a single man. His experience of two IMOCA monohulls construction (Superbigou and Cheminées Poujoulat 3) will, for sure, be a valuable aid to Bernard Stamm when he will be anchored to the uninhabited island located 465 km away from Bluff.
By the Cape Horn, and before starting the difficult crossing of the South Pacific, this archipelago of seven islands attached to New Zealand since 1863, is the only place that can offer a safe shelter for single-handed round-the-world sailors without jeopardizing their chances of staying in the race. Covering an area of 510 km ², the main island, Auckland, is quite mountainous and should provide the necessary respite to the sailor. A solution followed several times already in the history of the Vendée Globe, including Marc Guillemot in the previous edition.
In permanent contact with his shore team, Bernard keeps on looking at the race, but knows that the seamanship and safety require this suspension of time to solve these big energy problems. He will then be able to resume his journey with all the potential of his boat.
Cheminées Poujoulat is now in the archipelago but is waiting for daybreak to approach the mooring area she has chosen.
Source Cheminées Poujoulat